By Conner Forrest January 28, 2014, 10:46 AM PST
The article cited above has some great takeaways regarding the use of Chromebooks, and GoogleApps for Education that are worth reflecting on. You’ll want to read the entire article, but here are my notes.
- According to an estimate by Futuresource Consulting, Chromebooks accounted for almost 20 percent of the mobile computing market for K-12 schools in 2013.
- Kentucky Country Day (KCD), an independent private school, has had a 1:1 laptop program for their high school students since 2005, but they recently began requiring the purchase of Chromebooks for their middle school students to use in the classroom.
- Simultaneous to the Chromebook experiment was the school’s rollout of Google Apps, which the students use to create and share content and access their assignments.
- Students were using their devices to create non-assigned projects like short stories and share them with their peers and instructors for feedback. The faculty quickly realized that the star of the show wasn’t the Chromebooks themselves, but the Google Apps suite they were all now using.
- “What ever direction we took,” said Tim Rice, “the device was going to be our last consideration.”
- Devices are enrolled under the KCD domain, then they use the Google apps management to break students into groups based on their grade level, control how much email access they have, blacklist websites and put filters on the computers.
- Then they use Hapara to help organize the students Google Drive.
- Once they settled on Chromebooks, the students adopted the technology organically. The school never mandated the use of Chromebooks in the classroom, or even explicitly encouraged their students to use them.
- Classrooms with technology can still be teacher-centered or reflective of what Paulo Freire describes as the ‘banking method.’ We can use laptops for ‘drill and kill’ activities, or rote memorization, or for online test prep—or we can use laptops and associated apps as a medium for creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.”
- “Chromebooks present a number of benefits to the education market which goes further than just offering cheaper hardware,” he said. “While cost savings can be made on the cost of the hardware alone, the majority of the cost savings originate from savings made from infrastructure and device management.
- The use of Google Apps has increased transparency and led to fewer misunderstandings between parents and teachers over assignments and due dates. An added bonus for parents is that it’s harder for the students to lose their homework.
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